Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Kitchen Window...Clam Chowder

Now that the country is having this cold snap, I thought a nice hardy soup would comfort everyone! Try this. It's great!

The most AMAZING clam chowder I have ever tasted comes from a recipe that's been served at THE CLIFF HOUSE in Maine since the 1800's.


1 slice hickory-smoked bacon, minced
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 cup onion, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon The Cliff House Spice Blend (see below)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 can clams (6-1/2 ounces)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1-1/2 cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced


The Cliff House Spice Blend:

4 tsps oregano
4 tsps dried parsley
2 tsps marjoram
2 tsps dill
4 tsps thyme
4 tsps basil
1 tsp sage
4 tsps rosemary
2 tsps tarragon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Blend this together and store it in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. I make up a batch of this blend and use it in spaghetti sauce and other soups too.

Clam Chowder:

In a large soup pot sauté bacon, butter, onion, garlic and "the spice blend" over low heat. Do not allow to brown. Drain clams and set aside (keep the juice). Stir the flour and clam juices in the sauté mixture. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Add the half and half and simmer for 20 minutes. Add white pepper, potatoes and clams. Heat for 20 minutes, but do not allow this to boil, as this toughens the clams. I love to serve this in a bread bowl. Serves six.

Bread Bowl:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Depending on the size of the loaf, cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the loaf. Remove the bread from the inside, leaving about 1 1/2 inches thick on the inside. Using your basting brush, brush olive oil on the inside of the bread bowl, which creates a seal, ensuring whatever you put in the bread bowl will not leak out. Bake the bread bowl on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, until golden on the inside. Remove and cool slightly.

Note: I put the chunks of bread I pulled out on a side plate and use them to dip in the chowder.


1 comment:

Crystal Escobar said...

Yum, that looks so good, my mouth is literally watering :) I just came across your blog somehow, and now I'm following you :) Just want to connect with other moms. I recently started a new blog hoping to gather information and advice from moms like yourself. Here's the blog address incase you ever want to drop by :)
Managing Life As a Mom